Liturgy, Leadership, and Governance in the Church

…the church as sacrament is inseparable from its baptismal and Eucharistic practices, for the unity of the church is sacramentally realized in its communion with its Lord (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). Therefore the principles of good worship are also the principles of life in the church more generally, since the nature of the church is manifested through the liturgy. Specifically this means that insofar as the nature of the liturgy requires the ‘full, conscious, and active participation’ of the faithful in liturgical celebrations, so also must the faithful participate in the church fully, consciously, and actively. This does not mean turning the church into a political democracy, however, although it does mean incorporating liturgical principles into the governance of the church.

…the sacramentality of the church requires that pastoral leadership and liturgical presidency be united in the normal practice of the church. The minister who presides over the unity of the community generally should preside over the sacrament of unity, the Eucharist. Presidency refers to the ecclesial life of the community before it refers to a liturgical function. The practice emphasizes the intrinsic connection between the nature of the church and its liturgical worship, as well as the relationship between a pastoral liturgical minister and the church.

Susan K. Wood, “Continuity and Development in Roman Catholic Ecclesiology”, Ecclesiology, Vol. 7, No. 2 (May 2011), p. 160.

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